Picosure Tattoo Removal - Sacramento, CA

I have had this tattoo for 20 years and I have...

I have had this tattoo for 20 years and I have hated it for the last 15. I have not thought about removing it before, instead I always wore long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves. Now with the new picosure laser I thought I would give it a try because it is supposed to take less treatments with less collateral damage so I drove from Berkeley to Sacramento to get my first procedure. It was not as painful as I thought it was going to be but maybe I just have a higher tolerance. I am going to wait 3 months for my next treatment to get the most out of my first treatment as I figure I have lived with it this long, I may as well not spend as little as possible to get it removed.

Unexpected side effect

I read all about the side effects of tattoo removal, like blisters, hypo and hyperpigmentation, and what not but one side effect that I was not prepared for was the swelling. My arm felt heavy and was twice as large as my other arm. I looked like I had a huge bicep. Its been 5 days and the swelling has mostly gone down but there is still a little bit. Its minor and does not hurt but I had not read about it from anyone else.

Day 18

It has been 18 days since my first treatment and I can't say I notice a huge difference. It does seem like there are patchy areas that have less ink, but it is difficult to get a decent photo that would show this. I will try to post a photo at the 2 month mark.

Dec 15, approximately 4.5 months since first treatment

total number of treatments = 2
Going for a third next week.

More photos of tattoo

3rd treatment 12/19/2013

So I got my third treatment yesterday and it was far more painful than the previous two. I really like the laser nurse, Heidi but I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of Dr Tanghetti. I asked Heidi why there was dark areas around the tattoo, like the ink was just under the skin not being absorbed. She went to get the Dr. to ask him and he said that it is from the tattoo and for her to laser that area also. He also said that there are a lot of toxic metals in tattoo ink and its completely unregulated. And was sort of cold and cavalier about it. I asked how dangerous it is to have this in your body and if it was better to leave it or remove it. He said that its best not to get it in the first place. Well, fucking sure. That would have been great, but that is obviously not an option now because its already on my arm. I felt like he was sort of saying to me, well, if you were stupid enough to get it, deal with the consequences. Sure, I wish I didn't but I was 18 and I am absolutely 100% sure that not one person on earth can say they never regret a decision they made. Ugh. I will conclude this by saying that I went to 4 different consults all around the Bay Area and find it extremely interesting that not one single physician brought this topic up. I even remember asking one if it was hard on the immune system to clean up these inks because I was certain that there could be things in them harmful to the body. I recall she said, that that is what the immune system and lymph nodes are supposed to do and they do a good job at it.

Photos of third treatment (2 days after)

This treatment was stronger than the last two and there is considerably more bruising and blisters.

One week after 3rd treatment

All blisters have gone down and there is dry scaly skin on most of the tattoo.
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Nice fading! I am doing Picosure too, and I wonder how effective it really is on black verses color. I've seen a greater response in the colored parts of my tattoos than on black. I'm sticking with it though, because apparently Picosure is the best. Are you going for a cover up or complete removal?
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I'm going for a complete removal. No more tattoos for me! I have noticed quite a bit of fading but of course wish it was faster. I have been waiting 10-12 weeks between treatments but am going to wait 16 weeks from now on based on the recommendation of another member here.
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Thanks for the update! You are progressing wonderfully! Do you know what setting your laser was on?
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I don't know what setting it was on but it was higher than the last two as I was very bruised and had a lot of small and large blisters that took about 5 days to deflate.
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I get lots of blisters after my treatments, especially on the color. Sometimes they are so large that and being on my back, my husband will drain them with an insulin needle...I know I am not supposed to but it's so hard to have the big ones. Keep us posted on your progress :)
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What an unhelpful attitude your doctor seems to have! Sounds like he came across as very condescending and unprofessional. I echo oneTime2many - all we can do is ensure our hydration levels are always tip top (water's the best cleanser!). Whilst it hasn't been scientifically proven how/if the ink particles leave the body, it's reassuring to know that laser tattoo removal has been around for several years now, and there to doesn't seem to be (at least an obvious) correlation between removal and repercussions later in life whatsoever.
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And I am in no way a Dr..but I only find myself digging for all of these answers b/c I work in engineering so that's how my mind tends to think. So for anyone reading my comment/advice, please note that I am not a health professional; it's just the information I came across while doing research on my own. There are still so many unknowns it seems, so the best advice I can give is allow yr body down time to rest and heal both inside and out.
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I have been waiting 10 weeks or so in between treatments but I think I will wait more like 4 months from now on.
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Waiting a few months in b/w treatments never hurts regardless of the laser being used. The pico does tend to not cause as much trauma as a q-switched, so it technically can be used sooner than a Q...but still, all the laser really does is shatter the ink...it's our bodies that dispose of it --and that may take months. I also heard that if you laser too soon, you risk killing the carrier cells that are in the process of moving the ink. Again, I guess no one is really 100% sure...I go by simple physics and personal experience anymore b/c there seems to be no general consensus amongst the removal clinics. My Dr wont even see me if I even try and come in b/f 3mos. I now wait 3-4 mos in b/w treatments and not only see dramatic fading, my skin heals great, I'm not feeling sick, and I save money. The laser itself reaches energy levels that far exceed our normal energy levels and I could only imagine that too is somewhat traumatic on our chakras as well. But again, this is all just my experience and we all have our own. I also was going to comment that the ink you say is lingering on the edges could just be due to the ink particles breaking up and spreading out; either way I wouldn't worry; your fading looks great btw. Massage and rose-hips oil (or bio-oil) works wonders too after it heals and helps stimulate the removal.
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Hi, I just want to comment on yr last post. I too found out (on my own mind you) that the tattoo inks are unregulated and do contain many toxic metals. I started getting treatment in 2011 and did not find that information at the time online or otherwise. I was under the impression that removal was completely safe and that tattoo ink was just non toxic pigment. I guess it's just a shame that the physicians, although they have no control over the ink standards, do not tell us the full gamut regarding removal..I mean, they're supposedly the experts right? Regardless, I brought this issue up b/c my Dr told me that the metals do remain in the lymph nodes, regardless of if we just get a tatt and do not treat it or if we get removal. Either way, the ink/metals are there, yet I am unsure if they will ever leave. I also saw a few news stories about this in which some removal clients opt for a process known as chelation, in which they undergo a sort of "flush" to remove the heavy metals. I have looked into this myself but there is also risk involved, as they say the flushing can also remove vital compounds/minerals that we need and even stir up the metals at rest, causing more side effects...so I am just going to let it be. It's a hard call, and that is why I would never go through this again just b/c of the unknown health risks. The best thing you (me, or anyone going through this) can do is drink plenty of water; I heard citrus is a great metal detoxifier too. I honestly think that part of the reason we feel slightly overwhelmed through this whole process is due to metal toxicity which is known to cause depression, anxiety, and other things. Just do what you have to do and try and take long breaks in b/w treatments...yr ink will continue to fade and that will also give yr body time to heal from the trauma. Sorry yr Dr was a prick, I have encountered quite a few on my journey. The most important aspect here is time and patience, so please trust yr body and allow it the time it needs. Good luck.
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Great information, thank you!!! I always wonder whats going on with the ink that has been floating around in my system, it worries me. I agree, lots of water, healthy food, and you are correct citrus is great for detox - add lemon to your water.


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Looking good :) Keep us updated on the next treatment!
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You sure can see some fading, thanks for the update!


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Any new pics?
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Hey there :) Just checking in to see how you are progressing with your removal, do you have an update for us?


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Hey Eva, I have had two treatments and it seems to be fading pretty fast but I did want to ask the RS community if they have had some dark areas around the tattoo. Almost like it is spilling under the skin but not being absorbed away. Its only in the areas that are really pale, ie the thin skin on the part of the arm that touches one's torso. I will post some photos when I get a chance.
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Yes please post some photos so we can have a look....Do you mean it looks like the ink is just spreading rather than going away? I know for me some areas look very dark and smudged on the outline.


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I was always swolen, but i guess you are right because I have never really posted about it. 
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I'm not using the picosure laser but I always swell after treatment.., mine extend down my arm and I'm usually out of commission treatment day to ice and elevate my arm... I do take ibuprofen to help with the swelling... But yes swelling happens here... They are using a revlite for mine
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what's the name of place you had this done in Sacramento I have a tattoo I want to have removed Annmary
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Dr Emil Tanghetti
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Nice. I thought about going to sac for the pico. How many treatments did they quote u
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They won't give you an estimate because there are too many variables, such as ink color, type of ink, location on the body, skin color, your body's own immune system. What they will say is that they are finding that the Picosure laser is getting rid of tattoos with less treatments than the Revlite or Medlite or those other older machines. I think its worth it if you want it gone and can be patient.
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Looking forward to seeing your tattoo disappear! I am still debating tattoo removal and picosure!
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